This article has been peer-reviewed.

In the sports drama Dim ng bou (Weeds on Fire, Chan Chi-fat, 2016), high school principal Lo Kwong-Fai proposes to the administration his idea of forming Hong Kong’s first youth baseball team. The scepticism he encounters from the school is the same puzzlement that might face the prospect of the Hong Kong sports film as a genre. A city-state with little historic success in international athletic competitions and without major professional sports franchises, Hong Kong is an unlikely place for films about team competition. Sports fandom is strong, especially for international soccer, and Hong Kong hosts one of the world’s premier tournaments for rugby sevens. But without a tradition in local sports, films about teamwork, sacrifice, and athletic achievement – the sorts of melodramas that are evergreen in places with storied sports histories like the United States – seem decidedly exotic.

Yet, the past few years have seen locally-produced sports films find success in Hong Kong. Weeds on Fire opened the 2016 Hong Kong International Film Festival and was named a “film of merit” by the Hong Kong Film Critics Society. Jik lau daai suk (Men on the Dragon, Sunny Chan, 2018), about dragon boat racing, and Cyun lik kau saat (Full Strike, Derek Kwok, Henri Wong, 2015), about a badminton team, were nominated for Hong Kong Film Awards. They’re not the first sports films in Hong Kong cinema; films about athletes extend at least as far back as MP&GI’s Ti yu huang hou (Beauty Parade, Tang Huang, 1961). There is also a tradition of competitive martial arts tournaments in the kung fu genre in Hong Kong, with films that pit fighters of different schools or nationalities against each other in the ring. The martial arts genre has also spun off the occasional sports film like Yuen Biao’s soccer comedy Bo ngau (The Champions, Brandy Yuen, 1983), Jackie Chan’s auto racing thriller Pik lik fo (Thunderbolt, Gordon Chan, 1995), Stephen Chow’s Siu lam zuk kau (Shaolin Soccer, 2001), or Dante Lam’s mixed martial arts drama Gik zin (Unbeatable, 2013). While these films include scenes of sports competition, they largely follow the logic of the martial arts film: revenge narratives, or emphases on stunts and action choreography. Because Hong Kong films involving sports are usually built within this martial arts tradition, the sudden appearance after 2014 of multiple films aligned instead with the underdog sports melodramas of Hollywood stands out as unique in Hong Kong film history. 1

However, rather than simply representing the local appropriation of a western genre, this unexpected cycle of sports films presents a unique formula for fantasy during an unprecedented turn in Hong Kong’s social history, when the city-state and its people find themselves engaged in a fiery political standoff with a government in Beijing that has not fully granted the suffrage rights and self-sovereignty promised under the “one country, two systems” agreement signed when Hong Kong was handed over by the British to China in 1997. Culminating with the Occupy Central and Umbrella Movement protests in 2014 and the anti-extradition protests of 2019, activists have taken to the streets to affirm their resistance against Beijing to advocate for transparency, voting rights, free speech, and other democratic reforms. The various waves of civil disobedience associated with the movements swelled several months each, marathons of sacrifice and strategy that culminate in rejuvenation and reconfiguration. As with sports, political activism celebrates bodily endurance and teamwork. There are concrete desired outcomes resulting from hard work and the execution of a game plan. It perhaps is no coincidence that the Sinitic words for “political movement” and “sports” are the same – “wan dung” in Cantonese or “yun dong” in Mandarin – an analogy that speaks to the physical and strategic work of “movement” in both. With sports and political movements bound linguistically, the appearance of the sports film in the years following the 2014 movements makes cultural sense, coming in the shadow of intense communal scrutiny about the role and value of activism for the future of Hong Kong, where the ethics of fighting for the collective, standing up against adversity, and working hard despite the odds – ethics shared by both activism and sports – are at the centre of the melodrama of the moment. In fact, to varying degrees, these sports films make explicit connections between sports and socio-political resistance, whether through the fight against the “justice of the peace” team in Full Strike, the labour strikes in Men on the Dragon, or the direct references to the Umbrella Movement in Weeds on Fire, as I will show. Furthermore, these three films all explore the ethics and emotions of losing, a position especially evocative given the seeming futility of Hong Kong activism against a government that massacred students at Tiananmen, disappears bookstore owners in Hong Kong, and continues to kill and detain Uyghurs in western China, all while an international community increasingly reliant on the Chinese economy turns a blind eye. By taking its characters and audiences through the melodramas of losing, the Hong Kong sports film considers seriously the question of whether strategising and putting one’s body on the line is worth the effort. In so doing, the films rehearse the emotions of political activism at an impasse marked by political pessimism. In dwelling on loss, the films also allow us to rethink and expand the ideological role of the sports film altogether, so often critiqued as feel-good panaceas of social tensions, but are here emblematic of the very difficulty of reconciling ethics and outcomes for a society under threat.

The relationship between sports films and society is well-acknowledged and studied. In their introduction to All-Stars & Movie Stars, Ron Briley, Michael K. Schoenecke, and Deborah A. Carmichael describe a task of the sports films scholar as deconstructing the texts’ myths of meritocracy, despite society’s uneven playing field with regards to race, gender, and other structuring factors. They note the desire nevertheless of the audience to believe in the underdog narrative and the individualistic success story of prevailing against odds. 2 Thus sports films are utopias, as Richard Dyer might put it, that stage complex and irreconcilable tensions with the euphoric clarity of entertainment. 3 For Aaron Baker, this utopia contains an “empowering optimism” that social inequality can be transcended by individual effort. 4 That optimism finds a cleanness in what Garry Whannel calls the genre’s fundamental question (“who will win?”) and the films’ indisputable answer to that question in some kind of culminating competition. 5 The films track through the binary of winning and losing clear moral lines; messy ideological positions are, in ways inaccessible in real life, reducible to right and wrong, success and failure, through the outcome of a final game. Even beyond the most binaristic of melodramas, the sports film quantifies characters’ virtues through points scored and championships won. Meanwhile, the melodramatic high of victory fortifies moralistic odes to values such as hard work, persistence, teamwork, or good sportsmanship through persuasive and inspiring embodied thrills. Critical race scholars C. Richard King and David J. Leonard are suspicious of such machinations, arguing that through these cinematic thrills, “sport hails citizen-subjects” and the films’ rhetoric of inspiration and individualism “reinscribe common sense ideas about race, gender, and sexuality”. 6 King and Leonard’s evocation of a Gramscian “common sense” as the maintenance of a hegemonic status quo assume the existence of a shared – albeit imagined – set of values surrounding race, gender, and sexuality. It also assumes that common sense can be “won”, for instance through the ethics of onscreen victory.

The Hong Kong situation makes such “common sense” claims harder to examine. For one, a national identity that perpetuates such a status quo cannot be assumed. As a city-state historically caught between two colonisers, with a population of relatively new settlers and migrant labour, and a precarious relationship to nationhood and national coherence, Hong Kong culture is in a state of flux. In such a state, what is “common sense” at all? If anything, what’s shared in Hong Kong is a common understanding that the city can never “win” at all. What Ackbar Abbas once described as a city of “disappearance” has hardened into the more dire inevitability of existential loss. The local Cantonese language is being displaced by Beijing’s Mandarin. Local landmarks are the stomping grounds for mainland tourists. And most disheartening is the failure of the Umbrella Movement and Occupy Central to secure meaningful reforms. A culture of political pessimism has set in and congealed. Historical sociologist Luke Cooper describes Hong Kong’s peculiar nationalism – where one can visualise and debate national identity and self-sovereignty, but can never realise it in practice – as a kind of “self-alienation” that has “self-awareness of failure” as one of its primary dimensions. That awareness of impossibility and failure has become the “core component of localist consciousness after the defeat of the Umbrella Revolution”, he argues. 7 This political and existential pessimism has been tracked in other disciplines as well. Hong Kong-based public health researchers have found strong positive correlations between political uncertainty and mental health distress in the city. 8 Similarly, sociologist Ming-sho Ho describes the emotional consequences of what he and others call “movement injury”: short- and long-term negative feelings ranging from inter-generational conflict to movement-related guilt and feelings of desertion. 9 Meanwhile, Iam-Chong Ip describes the distressing ways in which Hong Kong has been analogised via death, with China a bio-political threat to life and mobility. 10 The much-discussed film Sap nin (Ten Years, various directors, 2015) imagines scenes from Hong Kong in the year 2025, a dystopia of murdered activists and ominous Red Guard-esque youth, a cinematic political manifesto that scholar Wei Shi describes as an announcement of fear gripping the city. 11 Such alarmist characterisations of Hong Kong capture a mood of political futility, in which the status quo isn’t won so much as surrendered to. If the American sports film that King and Leonard discuss use winning to affirm seemingly natural national values, the Hong Kong sports film is left with no nation and no recourse to victory.

However, in contrast with the blunt dystopic hopelessness of Ten Years, the post-Umbrella Movement sports films take seriously the work of ongoing resistance and self-determination, not by imagining false victories, but by giving emotional credibility to an impossible mission. Sports and activism are marked by action, and thus the sports film provides the appropriate generic form to consider the melodramatic heroism of taking action, despite expectations of failure. These are underdog narratives with protagonists whose unseen virtue demand to be acknowledged at any cost. But whereas Aaron Baker sees in the utopia of sports films an inherent optimism, post-Umbrella Movement sports films in Hong Kong evoke a utopia tethered to pessimism, giving audiences the ethical consolation and cinematic fireworks for demanding self-determination without betraying the dismal reality of what Cooper calls “self-alienation”. Melodrama, as Christine Gledhill powerfully argues, pushes against dominant structures of feeling like fear and pessimism, not simply to reflect or reinforce those feelings, but to imagine through the excesses of emotion and personality pathways to persist in spite of them. 12 This consideration of the sports film’s melodramatic impulses challenges critics who reduce the genre to simple reflections of “common sense” ideology, showing how the genre can thrill by making spaces for and justifying unexpected ways of claiming victory in the world. Building upon Gledhill’s arguments about melodrama, my approach contrasts with King and Leonard’s anti-entertainment sentiments, whereby the sports film can only be progressive by “refusing a happy ending”, in much the same way that ideological film criticism of the 1970s generated a suspicion of happy endings and melodrama more generally. [13 C. Richard King and David J. Leonard, “Why Sports Films Matter; Or, Refusing a Happy Ending” in Visual Economies of/in Motion, King and Leonard, eds. On the assumed ideological conservatism of happy endings in Hollywood cinema, see James MacDowell, Happy Endings in Hollywood Cinema: Cliché, Convention and the Final Couple (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2013) p. 3-5.] I argue that what makes the Hong Kong films politically useful are not the unhappy endings, but the emotional work at the heart of melodrama itself that reconciles the reality of pessimism with the heroic sports finale.

Perhaps more than most film genres, the sports film invests much of its emotional power on whether the protagonists win or lose. Running alongside the outcome of the final match or tournament is a parallel storyline, often about players’ non-sports tribulations, and together the two narratives gather momentum and converge as the climactic competition approaches. The outcome of the sports storyline becomes the utopic and melodramatic resolution of the parallel storyline about virtue gone unacknowledged outside of sports. As these parallel storylines culminate, the emotional payoffs of each narrative thread reinforce each other, and the moral victory of interpersonal relationships seems to justify the victory in competition, or vice versa. In my analyses of post-Umbrella Movement sports films, I thus consider these dual (and in one case triple) narratives to examine the way that losing – in sports and outside of sports – is processed and moralised.

Consider Full Strike, a Hong Kong comedy about social outsiders (criminals, the disabled, the elderly, a drunk) who see in badminton a way to transcend their marginalisation. As the athletes physically prepare for a final showdown in a Macau tournament, the film also presents a parallel storyline of them struggling with family members who don’t believe in them, and the allure of criminality that beckons them away from a straight life that doesn’t necessarily want them. But because of their uphill battle on the badminton court, as well as the inspiring training sequences and the awkwardly adorable camaraderie between the collective of odd bedfellows, the audience eventually takes the players’ side, cheering them along their lonely quest for self-determination to be defined by their actions and not their reputations. In fact, the connection between the players’ off-court lives as petty criminals and their parallel lives as badminton aspirants is made explicit in the way they are first introduced to the crowd when they enter the sports arena. Upon entering, roaming lights circle them like helicopter searchlights, sirens blare in the background, a security guard is seen behind them, cameras crowd toward them like paparazzi descending upon the infamous, and the opposing teams hold their racquets at the incoming players like police officers catching criminals in the crosshairs of their guns. The scene is played for laughs, but it immediately poses the social terms of the competition: that our sports heroes are criminals. Meanwhile, in the tournament, they square off against teams associated with the law: first is what the film calls the “Police Team”, followed by a team that is led by a character known as the “justice of the peace”. Thus, self-determinacy on- and off-court is rendered as a fable between renegade, misunderstood misfits and the enforcers and interpreters of the law. The misfits are underdogs expected to lose against the powerful in society. Nevertheless, the drama up to this point in the film puts the underdogs on the side of righteousness, and they ultimately win the favour of the public, glued to their televisions, not unlike those in and outside of Hong Kong eagerly watching the activist-police confrontations during the Umbrella Movement.

Figure 1: The badminton team depicted as criminals flocked by security, searchlights, and racquets held up like guns.

Due to an interpretation of tournament rules, the team of misfits loses the climactic final match to the “justice of the peace” team. Up to this point, the film had relied on the momentum of badminton to redeem the characters of their off-court woes, making the case that their effort and teamwork in the gym might allow their community to finally recognise their virtues. So when they ultimately lose, the public loses interest and the film takes a sardonic turn, emptying out the dramatic tension and leaving the team with only each other, a rag-tag group of losers. Ultimately, the film valorises not the effort of sport, but the personalities of those who tried and lost. The film closes with a dedication to “beautiful losers”, not a nod to losing gracefully, but to the beauty of losing itself, whether in badminton or on the streets. Through the criminal/justice binary the teams represent, we can take this final dedication as the beauty of the marginalised shuffling awkwardly to take on the law and losing.

Figure 2: Full Strike‘s final dedication: “To all beautiful losers.” The Chinese text reads: “Dedicated to the hardworking losers.”

If Full Strike takes a sarcastic tone befitting the misfits and the deadpan portrayal of losing, the popular baseball film Weeds on Fire is squarely in the melodramatic mode of victims, action, and pathos. It also makes the most explicit connection between sports, Hong Kong politics, and the Umbrella Movement. Set in 1984 with the Sino-British Joint Declaration broadcast on TVs in the background, the film is a fictionalised retelling of the historic “Shatin Marlins”, a youth baseball team that gave Hong Kong a rare victory in the Asian region. Much of the film is spent depicting the young men as impoverished and hopeless, surrounded by crime and life dead-ends. While baseball can’t change their professional fates, an enterprising high school coach invests time and money in building their character through the hard work of the baseball diamond, so that they can visualise their full potential. The film cuts between baseball training sequences and the players’ real-life challenges maintaining male relationships and wooing women. There is a strong suggestion that these young men feel that, with economic hopelessness, their masculinity is at stake, which we see in images of cuckolded fathers at home and repeated groin-hitting in the players’ everyday lives. Baseball, as a utopia of meritocracy and fair play, becomes their outlet to redeem that masculinity.

The parallel narratives reach a climax in the final game pitting Hong Kong against Japan. After coming back from double-digit runs, the Hong Kong team takes fate into their own hands, defending a slim lead from the pitching mound. In the final inning, the pitcher has flashbacks to all the interpersonal losses in his life and convinces himself that he will not be another one of society’s disposable losers. The dramatic finale of the game, in which Hong Kong triumphantly wins against the heavily-favorited Japan, is represented as a ravishing and whirlwind thrill, the underdog transcending a life of losing. But in a staggering tragic counterpart to his sports win, we see the pitcher immediately return to a life of losing: his mum leaves his father, his best friend is gone, the girl he loves ends up with another guy. Sports victory is revealed to be an illusion in a life of perpetual loss. The two parallel narratives – one victorious, the other a crushing loss – don’t easily reinforce each other as they often do in the sports film, but rather remind the viewer of the inescapability of real-life disappointment despite hard work. As the film’s narrator brings the story to the present day, there is a sense that the decades following the win have brought little else to cheer for, especially given the audience’s awareness that Hong Kong did not produce more teams like the Shatin Marlins. Weeds on Fire ends by completing the film’s third parallel narrative, a through-line chronicling recent Hong Kong politics that runs from beginning to end of the film, and which gets the last word. In this epilogue, a baseball rolls down the street alongside the tent cities of the Umbrella Movement. It’s a haunting conclusion that doesn’t undermine the pessimism marked by the players’ interpersonal failures, but rather offers another outlet. Like baseball, activism is a utopia of sorts: an isolated place for the body to be seen and counted where it might not be visible otherwise. We are taken to a ghostly scene after the Umbrella Movement – streets as emptied out as a baseball stadium after a crushing loss – where a sign on a wall reads, “though we lose, we don’t lose hope,” a sentiment that echoes the rallying cry of activist group Hong Kong Indigenous (“better to die with honor than survive in disgrace”) posted on the group’s Facebook site just a month before Weeds on Fire premiered at the Hong Kong International Film Festival. 13

Figure 3: Tying the narratives together is a baseball rolling past Umbrella Movement tents.

Figure 4: Written on a wall after the protests: “Though we lose, we don’t lose hope.”

Through these three parallel narratives, Weeds on Fire simultaneously teases the elation of victory, while acknowledging the inescapable reality of perpetual loss, and considering possible future protest in a self-alienating culture of political pessimism. The simultaneity of these three highly emotional through-lines exploits the anger of compromised masculinity and the euphoria of sports victory to morally legitimise political action to defend Hong Kong identity despite the inevitability of loss. Gender fuels a politics of hope and sports melodrama becomes its vehicle for mapping out hope’s possibility. In fact, given that sports films historically narrate crises of masculinity, it’s perhaps fitting that the genre in Hong Kong reverts to cultural norms of how masculinity narrates history. In their study of masculinity in Hong Kong during and after the Umbrella Movement, Petula Ho, et al, argue that attitudes toward protest – including the decision to join the civil disobedience or not – is often rationalised by men in terms of gendered logics of respectability, responsibility, and romance. For instance, attitudes toward Hong Kong’s future or toward participating in protests are understood by men according to how such decisions may affect their roles are bread-winners, as custodians of a cultural heritage, or as loyal or passionate romantic partners. 14 In Weeds on Fire, aspiring as an underdog, both in baseball and in political action, is justified through the ethics of trying, even if it means losing, because not doing so would be capitulating to the forces of demasculinisation that come with the loss of self-determinacy in romance, family, and economic status.

Focusing even more anxiously on male inadequacy is Men on the Dragon, which fantasises about how winning a dragon boat race might preserve the jobs of telecom employees and reinstate four broken or stalled romantic relationships. The men of the film’s title are victims of corporate downsizing while they shoulder the weight of the dragon: both a Confucian weight of responsibility to family, as well as the symbol of Hong Kong’s signature sporting event (dragon boat racing) associated with regional identity and local tourism. In the film, Pegasus Broadband promises to keep its workers on the payroll so long as they participate successfully in a local dragon boat competition to raise the company’s reputation after a round of labour strikes. Many of the men, like the misfits in Full Strike, are not the most obvious candidates for athletic competition; some are middle-aged and out of shape. From the looks of it, their masculinity is expired and unrenewable. “Trying and failing is for idiots”, one man says at the prospect of joining the team. Given the doubly dejecting parallel narratives of sport and romantic strife, theirs is a particularly grim underdog drama of masculine self-determinacy. But as the sports film does so effectively through inspirational training sequences and musical montages, a can-do spirit permeates, one that aims to resuscitate the men’s employability and their desirability to women.

Along the way, a number of events suggest that these aspirations are not worth the insurmountable effort. In a comic moment at the end of an early competition, the team celebrates getting second-to-last place, acknowledging the need to lower expectations and to forget about winning, as the participation prize is sufficient. More concerning is when the Pegasus team is disbanded because their participation in the race is revealed to have been a corporate executive’s vanity project all along, and is now deemed no longer necessary. At this point, the sports melodrama, traditionally a celebration of level playing fields and the myth that hard work leads to victory, is revealed to be a farce rigged by larger, more powerful forces. If dragon boat racing was the men’s one shot at proving their worth to both their employer and their female love interests, then suddenly that correlation between sports and everyday life, the dual-focus narrative that undergirds and enlivens the genre, is revealed to be an illusion.

In the face of nothing to gain – economic, romantic – the men persist anyway, even without the sponsorship of their company. The final dragon boat race takes place at the same time that one of the men, Lung, can attempt one last-ditch effort to win his love, who is scheduled to marry another man. Knowing that there is no correlation between winning the race (which is impossible anyway) and winning the girl, Lung’s dragon boat team forgets the finish line, blasting right through it as if it didn’t matter, and takes the waterways to the administrative building where the wedding is being held. Lung rushes out of the dragon boat and into the alter. It is, however, too late, and Lung is unsuccessful at convincing his love to choose him. Thus, the film ends with him going zero for two: the dual narratives of sports and romance yield victory in neither, a uniquely demoralising finale in the history of the sports film. And yet, the film, through its recourse to comedy and its aw-shucks spirit, manages to arrive at a semi-happy ending, whereby Lung returns to his teammates who give him a knowing affirmation for trying. They after all will receive a trophy for at least finishing. The ending of the film returns us to the conversation earlier when an employee claims that “trying and failing is for idiots”, to which the coach responds, “try first before giving up”. As in Weeds on Fire, the ending of Men on the Dragon proposes an ethic of trying, even with full knowledge of its futility. Losing, as Full Strike might argue, has its own kind of beauty when achieved with the spirit of camaraderie and by remaining faithful to one’s own sense of self.

In these films, losing – in either sports, regular life, or both – challenges the myths that hard work and self-determinacy guarantee success in competition, love, or economic status. In capitalist and neo-liberal models of efficacy, one plays to win, making the “playing to lose” inevitability in these three post-Umbrella Movement films all the more striking and seemingly counterproductive. When losing is predetermined, it takes on a different narrative function than just teaching the protagonist a lesson in working harder, which has already been debunked as myth. Rather, the inevitability of losing re-centres the objectives of competition altogether, from changing one’s outcomes in life to holding on to the pride of identity, whether that is based on gender, family, or national affiliation. These aren’t the unhappy endings that King and Leonard, in their criticism of the sports film’s conservatism, suggest were the solution to deconstructing damaging myths of nationhood. In fact, Full Strike, Weeds on Fire, and Men on the Dragon all in their own ways arrive at romanticised notes of positivity and hope. Rather, they mobilise the pathos of loss and sacrifice to imagine an ethics of effort in whatever combination of winning and losing is played out in their respective parallel narratives. For all of their pessimism, none of these films suggest that there is nothing left to fight for.

Endnotes:

  1. Another film worth mentioning is Mak Dau gu si (My Life as McDull, Toe Yuen, 2001), not a sports film per se, but a children’s animation that includes a subplot highlighting Hong Kong’s meagre international success in sports. The film foreshadows the ethos of pessimism characteristic of the post-Umbrella Movement sports films I discuss in this article.
  2. Ron Briley, et al, “Introduction: Sports in Film: Cultural and Historical Representations of Athletic Competition on the Screen,” in All-Stars & Movie Stars: Sports in Film & History, Briley, et al, eds. (Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 2008), p. 1.
  3. Bruce Babington calls this the “precious sphere of utopian feeling” in sports and the sports film. Babington, The Sports Film: Games People Play (London: Wallflower Press, 2014) p. 6.
  4. Aaron Baker, “Goal! and the global sports film,” in Sport in Films, Emma Poulton and Martin Roderick, eds. (London: Routledge, 2008) p. 141.
  5. Garry Whannel, “Winning and Losing Respect: Narratives of Identity in Sports Films,” in Sport in Films, Emma Poulton and Martin Roderick, eds. p. 81.
  6. C. Richard King and David J. Leonard, “Screening the Social: An Introduction to Sport Cinema,” in Visual Economies of/in Motion: Sport and Film, King and Leonard, eds. (New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2006) p. 3
  7. Luke Cooper, “‘You Have to Fight On Your Own’: Self-alienation and the new Hong Kong Nationalism,” in Citizenship, Identity and Social Movements in the New Hong Kong: Localism after the Umbrella Movement, Wai-Man Lam and Luke Cooper, eds. (London: Routledge, 2017) p. 104.
  8. Joseph T.F. Lau, et al, “The Occupy Central (Umbrella) movement and mental health distress in the Hong Kong general public: political movements and concerns as potential structural risk factors of population mental health,” Social Psychiatry Psychiatric Epidemiology 52 (2017): p. 525-36.
  9. Ming-sho Ho, Challenging Beijing’s Mandate of Heaven: Taiwan’s Sunflower Movement and Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2019) p. 180-82.
  10. Iam-Chong Ip, “Becoming a Revanchist City: Reflections on Hong Kong Nativist Affects,” in Precarious Belongings: Affect and Nationalism in Asia, Chih-ming Wang and Daniel PS Goh, eds. (London: Rowman & Littlefield, 2017) p. 175-76.
  11. Wei Shi, “Ten Years and the politics of fear in post-Umbrella Hong Kong,” Continuum 33.1 (2019): p. 105-18.
  12. Christine Gledhill, “Prologue: The Reach of Melodrama,” in Melodrama Unbound: Across History, Media, and National Cultures, Christine Gledhill and Linda Williams, eds. (New York: Columbia University Press, 2018) p. xxiv.
  13. Jeffie Lam, “Hong Kong Indigenous leader Ray Wong publishes ‘final message to Hongkongers’,” South China Morning Post, 11 February 2016, https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/1911963/hong-kong-indigenous-leader-ray-wong-publishes-final-message
  14. Petula Sik Ying Ho, et al, “Talking Politics, Performing Masculinities: Stories of Hong Kong Men Before and After the Umbrella Movement,” Sex Roles 79.9-10 (November 2018): p. 533-48.

About The Author

Brian Hu is Assistant Professor of Television, Film, and New Media at San Diego State University. He is the author of Worldly Desires: Cosmopolitanism and Cinema in Hong Kong and Taiwan (Edinburgh University Press, 2018), and his writing on film has appeared in ScreenFilm Quarterly, and Journal of Chinese Cinemas. He is the Artistic Director of the San Diego Asian Film Festival.

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